Downtown business closes its doors, citing concerns over location, safety

Downtown business closes its doors, citing concerns over location, safety
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Froyo Earth director of operations Alicia Newman tells 4 News Now management has been forced to close the downtown yogurt shop, as concerns over parking, location and safety made their mark on business.

It’s a bittersweet ending for Froyo Earth’s first shop in Spokane.

“We just really tried to make everything work and you know, it’s just been tough,” said director of operations in Alicia Newman. “There’s the business aspect and it’s like, if the profits aren’t increasing, then we have to do something else.”

Newman told 4 News Now employees were fighting forces like location, a lack of parking and safety concerns before they were forced to close up shop.

“We had people that would say to us, ‘you know, I just don’t feel safe bringing my kids down here,’ and you know, that’s their choice,” Newman said.

Deep in the heart of downtown, Division and Second is home to many of Spokane’s homeless, which can have an impact on business there. Spokane Police have seen it before.

“The perception of a person’s safety matters,” said Sgt. Terry Preuninger. “Regardless of any statistics, regardless of any numbers, if I and my children are going to go to any place, and I look out and I see a group of people there that make me nervous or that I’m not comfortable with, regardless of what their intentions are or any potential threat, that can impact whether or not I use that business.”

Newman is now pouring her time and energy into one of Froyo Earth’s six other locations, at the shop near Gonzaga.

“I wanted to make sure that our employees felt at home and felt safe,” Newman said. “We just wanted people from the sidewalk all the way into, you know, paying for their stuff, to just feel welcome and comfortable and not questioning anything.”

Newman said management is looking into storefronts in Cheney, Liberty Lake and on the South Hill with the hopes of opening a new store this spring.

READ: Mayoral candidates address Spokane’s homeless crisis

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